How to Play Gomoku: A Comprehensive Guide


how to play gomoku

A popular strategy board game since antiquity, Gomoku is also known as Five in a Row and Gobang. It’s a two-player game that calls for strategic planning, quick thinking, and great observation. In this piece, I’ll explain how to play Gomoku, including the rules, methods, and pointers you need to become a pro.

Understanding the Basics

The Objective

To win at Gomoku, you must be the first player to place five of your pieces in a row, column, or diagonal across the board without allowing any of the other players to do the same. Each line, in any orientation, must have five identical components.

The Game Board

Although 15×15 grids are standard, smaller boards can be utilized for faster games of Gomoku. Pieces (often of varying colors) are placed by turn by players at the grid’s intersections.

Opening Moves

Gomoku’s initial play has the potential to set the tone for the entire match. The area in the middle of the board is crucial for most strategies. By positioning your first piece near the board’s center, you increase your chances of making successful moves in a variety of directions.

Strategies for Success

Creating Threats

Create threats while your opponent is making counter-threats in Gomoku. Having two pieces in a row with the third vacant spot open is a dangerous circumstance. The only way to avoid losing is for your opponent to block your row.

Balance and Control

Strive for an equilibrium between attacking and defending. Keep your opponent from forming a winning row while you work to establish one of your own. In Gomoku, defense is the name of the game.

The Double Threat

It’s a potent strategy to set up a “double threat” scenario. To accomplish this, you need to arrange your pieces into two rows of two that can each be extended into winning rows with the placement of a single piece. Your opponent will have to choose between your two threats, giving you the upper hand in any case.

The Three-Three Rule

The “Three-Three Rule” is a regulation in Gomoku that limits how players can place their first three stones, hence preventing quick victories. To be more specific, it stops you from beginning or ending your turn with a sequence of three consecutively placed stones.

The Overline Rule

The “Overline Rule” is another crucial principle in Gomoku; it prevents anyone from establishing a winning line by merely extending an existing line. This eliminates the possibility of a game being decided by the person who creates the longest row.

How to Play Gomoku: Advanced Strategies

The Influence of the Hoshi Points

The five “Hoshi” locations are the board’s four corners and its center. Having a solid foundation from which to build potentially winning rows in various directions makes these points invaluable. In Gomoku, gaining control of these areas can be a game-changer.

Patterns and Shapes

Gomoku relies heavily on one’s ability to recognize patterns and shapes. If your opponent doesn’t anticipate your “open four” or “double three,” you might just win. You can vastly increase your performance by learning these patterns.

Mind Games

Gomoku is significantly more than simply technique; it also requires strategic thinking. Using deception and traps to gain the upper hand is a potent tactic. Get your opponent to focus on one row as you develop another.


Gomoku mixes strategic thinking with tactical skill, allowing you countless possible variations in both individual and team play. Mastering the rules and methods outlined in this article will greatly improve your Gomoku skills, whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned pro. Get a buddy together, set up the board, and prepare to enter the realm of Gomoku strategy.


Q: What is Gomoku, And How to play gomoku?

Gomoku, often called Five in a Row or Gobang, is a well-known two-player board game that requires strategic thinking. To win, you must be the first player to place five of your pieces in a straight line across, down, or diagonally on a 15 by 15 grid.

Q: What’s the significance of the opening move in Gomoku?

In Gomoku, the first step is very important. You can set the tone of the game and position your pieces to create winning combinations in many directions by putting your first piece near the board’s center.

Q: What are the key strategies for success in Gomoku?

Achieving victory in Gomoku requires a well-rounded approach that includes offensive and defensive measures, as well as the use of concepts like the “double threat.” The “Three-Three Rule” and the “Overline Rule” are both important concepts to grasp.

Q: Are there advanced strategies in Gomoku?

Yes, sophisticated Gomoku tactics involve things like zeroing in on Hoshi points, learning to spot patterns and forms, and using psychological tricks to throw off your opponent.

Q: What’s the importance of the “Three-Three Rule” and “Overline Rule” in Gomoku?

The “Three-Three Rule” restricts stone placement to avoid quick wins, and the “Overline Rule” forbids players from extending an existing line to a win. These guidelines guarantee a challenging and even playing field for Gomoku.

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